my hot chocolate {crazy easy and gluten-free}

19. new ex 3 mallow | hot chocolate.jpg

I'm sharing one of my favorite things in the world with you today. This is the food I turn to the most when I need something. I turn it frozen in the summer, but even then, I've been known to sip a hot cup of chocolate even when it's blazing outside. I love hot chocolate so much that when John and I were completing a funny "get to know you quiz" on one of our date nights recently, he answered "hot chocolate" when asked what my favorite food is. 

I laughed out loud and said, "I guess it IS! I mean I "eat" hot chocolate more than anything else huh?"  

......It's actually kind of embarrassing now that I think about it. 

11. new explain cocoa | hot chocolate.jpg

My mother raised us on on a version of the hot chocolate you're about to have here, but my first true hot chocolate or chocolat chaud, was experienced in London. Picture a 19 year old girl with messy hair, boundless optimism and mitten-covered hands holding a tiny tiny mug filled with heaven: liquid dark chocolate. I could only take tiny sips at a time. Even me, the true chocoholic was grateful for the tiny portion that mug held because it was so rich. 

This hot chocolate is a lessened version of that hot chocolate experienced in London, but without compromise... it's just rich enough.

10. new ex whipp 2 | hot chocolate.jpg

Anyway, I know time seems to disappear this time of year, so I'll be short, but know that in a world where I feel people don't read or bake much any more - I am really grateful that you read here, bake here and are a part of Sweetish. I've always felt that by starting this site I am going against status quo here to prove that we still read, we still bake and we still want to drink chocolate.

2. plain | hot chocolate.jpg
20. new ex 3 cream 3-4 | hot chocolate.jpg

You are my people. 

Sending a huge hug to you my friends. I hope that when you think of this space and baking, you think of hot chocolate, because it really is the happiest food and I so hope this is a happy place for you to come to.  Hope you had a very Happy Christmas.

More to come. xo 

21. new ex 3 mallow 3-4 | hot chocolate.jpg


my hot chocolate 

serves 1 (makes one cup of hot chocolate) 

Most hot chocolate I try at bakeries or cafes (and don't even mention Starbucks) is SO overly sweet and gross I can't drink it. Is there such a thing as a hot chocolate doctor? Because I'm up for the job. Anyway, this recipe for hot chocolate is so embarrassingly easy I feel like it's cheating to even mention it, but to me, the secret to getting the right cup of cocoa is all about the ratio of chocolate to milk. Good hot chocolate isn't hard to do, so join me in the #goodhotchocolate movement and make yourself a cup that tastes how it's supposed to taste. Cheers!  

bakers notes: to make it vegan/dairy-free replace whole milk with almond milk. See more about this in my notes below. 

1 cup whole milk or almond milk (or any milk of your choice, if using a plant-based milk you may want to add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar) 

5-6 tablespoons dark (72% cocoa) or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (1/3 cup chopped chocolate = 5 tablespoons, the darker the chocolate the better in my opinion)

1/2 tablespoon hot water 

pinch of espresso powder or tiny splash of vanilla

tiniest pinch of medium-grain kosher salt (I usually forget this, but it is so good.) 


Chop chocolate.

Heat milk over low-medium heat in a heavy bottomed sauce pan until it reaches barely a simmer. The edges of the pan should be bubbly, but the whole pot of milk shouldn't be boiling. Add water. 

Add chocolate. Let chocolate sit in hot milk for a minute before whisking. 

Whisk in optional add-ins, and whisk chocolate and milk together until combined, do this while leaving the heat on. 

Pour into heated mugs (see notes below) and top with marshmallow or fresh whipped cream. xo

8. close up whipp | hot chocolate.jpg

whipped cream:

Whip cream with sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until soft peaks form and spoon on top of hot chocolate.  

1 cup / 235ml heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons / 28g sugar

½ - 1 teaspoon vanilla powder, paste or extract

18. new ex pmalloes with mallows chocolate | hot chocolate.jpg

bakers tips: 

  • Before pouring your cocoa in your mugs, fill your mugs with really, really, really hot water and let the water sit in there for a minute or two and then pour it out. This gets our mugs nice and warm so that when we pour the cocoa in there, it wont immediately get cold. 
  • To make it vegan: Whole grass-fed cows milk really is my favorite for making this cocoa, but I understand not wanting to drink dairy (for many reasons) so almond milk is a close second favorite for me if you need to go dairy free. If you do use almond milk, you may want to add a tablespoon of brown sugar to sweeten it up a bit. I actually love that the almond milk makes this cocoa even more bittersweet, but it may be too bitter for your tastes buds, so adding extra sugar is totally okay because I said so. :D 
  • Try to buy the best quality chocolate you can afford, and try while you're at it to buy a chocolate bar - or at least chocolate that doesn't have stabilizers in it. 


Milk: This is my favorite whole milk ever - Maple Hill Creamery

Espresso powder: I love and use this espresso powder.  

Vanilla: I love and use vanilla extract.  

Mugs: These aren't pictured, but favorite mugs from Herriot Grace and Farm House Pottery

Marshmallows: I used these peppermint marshmallows